History and Basic Techniques - part 1
History and Basic Techniques - part 1
All about barbecuing > History and basic techniques
Cro-Magnon man, discovering the power of fire, became the first barbecuer, cooking pieces of meat and fish on sticks. In ancient times, spices were rare and a few handfuls of cedar, maple, butternut or ash were thrown onto the coals, each wood providing a distinctive aroma and flavour as it burned.

Some Basic Techniques - Preparation

  • Always be sure that the grill is cleaned before you begin, since old dried food particles can be sources of bacteria;
  • position the grill out of the flames' reach since they can impart a burnt taste to the food;
  • prepare the fire early enough so that you will be cooking your food over the coals, not over the flames

Some Basic Techniques - Cooking

  • It is preferable to brush the food with oil so that it does not stick to the grill, but avoid using too much: oil that drips onto the coals can give off smoke that will alter the taste of your food;
  • when preparing cubes of meat, chops and steaks, buy pieces of the same size so that they will cook evenly;
  • marinate meat (except ground meat) in a marinade for at least 3 hours before you cook it - even overnight for red meat and at least one hour for white meat; marinating tenderizes the meat and reduces the cooking time;
  • do not pierce the meat when turning it; instead use tongs - piercing the meat will release the juices and make the meat dry out

Hints and Tricks
There are three factors for success:

  • a good marinade - see the recipes
  • good cooking
  • good accompaniments

Side Sauces and Accompaniments
Here are several that are both easy and delicious:

  1. vegetable skewers drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with thyme and rosemary
  2. tomato coulis - simply purée some skinless, seedless tomatoes in a food processor with a clove of garlic, a little salt and pepper and a spoonful of oil
  3. when it comes to sauce, American-style barbecue sauce will enhance a cut of beef, but you can also impart a lighter, fresher note with a basil sauce
  4. or an Oriental touch with Japanese soya based sauces


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